rantz by lantz – news and notes from the world of sports
Yesterday, when the St. Louis Rams dropped quarterback Marc Bulger on his 33rd birthday (what a gift, front office), my first thoughts were about former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford. After his stellar pro day and knowing the fact that the Rams having first pick in the 2010 NFL draft, it seems a virtual lock that this is where Bradford will land.
Then the chatter started – there will be a new population of St. Louis fans in the Oklahoma City if/when my not-very-bold prognostication comes to life. And this fact got me thinking…who do you root for when your favorite college players transition to the bigs? Do you root for the team they go to (i.e. the Rams or the Vikings – see one Adrian Peterson)? Do you root for the player separate from the team?
Before Bulger started cleaning out his locker and Donovan McNabb got traded to the capitol city, an avid OU and Dallas Cowboys fan and friend of mine was concerned by Bradford’s possibilities of becoming a Washington Redskin. How could he turn against his professional team since childhood to watch one of the greats from OU beat up on the ‘Boys? His decision – all but moot now, but nonetheless – is he couldn’t do it.
When purple Adrian Peterson jerseys popped up everywhere around the Sooner State, I wondered – ‘self, would you turn into a team fan just for one player’? And I went with no.
However, I think realized this is in essence why I embraced the Denver Broncos so many years ago. I was indeed a fan as a youngster, because my father was a fan, the team was somewhat close and regionally located to Oklahoma, I was born in Colorado. But I was no die-hard. When Rod Smith went to the organization, I became hooked. Completely. Living and dying by Super Bowl wins and regular season meltdowns.
So the takeaways? Maybe you can indeed adopt a team based on a player. But if you do, here are my friendly suggestions:
Sports, at least for me, are something in which I am passionate. Watching the games, being a part of the crowd and making the team feel like your own are just a few of the things that make fandom so great. Don’t squander your opportunities to become a fan of the faces of the franchise in the D-League, minors or on the practice squad, to take a road trip, to wear your new team’s colors with pride or to celebrate or commiserate with like-minded fans.
But above all else, enjoy the ride – however bumpy it may be - and cheer loud and proud!